justice vs. injustice essay
Each society has its government, each government owes its citizens justice and each citizen owes responsibility to follow the rules of the government. The existence of numerous laws not only provides security and civilization for the society and avoids anarchy, but it also offers certain individual rights and protects the privilege of the citizens. It is true that”There are two types of laws: just and unjust.
Every individual in the society has a responsibility to obey the laws, and even more importantly, to disobey and resist just laws.” Just laws symbolize justice; unjust laws symbolize injustice. Judging whether a law is just or unjust is a social issue, and leads to a lot of controversies. However, from my individual perspective, the complexities and implications of this issue might base on the following circumstances: in human rights, in economics and in politics.
Initially, a law can be considered as just or unjust. But what is a law? And how can we assume it is just or unjust? Officially, legislators who are elected by the citizens make laws.
Legislators debate, vote on and pass hundred laws every year to enable the government to navigate the society and to satisfy the demands of its citizens. Laws are a standard for people to evaluate distinct characteristics of an action, whether it is illegal or legal. There are certain steps like a system to pass a law. During that system, people keep discussing, arguing about the pros and cons of the proposed law. Such those people that have definite influences to the content of a law may be governors, chief executives of nationwide or worldwide corporate company or citizens.
Unquestionably, a system always has some flaws. Thus, it is reasonable that as long as there are just laws, unjust laws also exist within the system of government. A law is just or fair as long as it serves for an individual’s benefits and protects an individual’s proper rights, equally. On the contrary, laws, which are legally passed on due to purposes of special-interest groups of people, and even violate others’ rights, are unjust.
To envision clearly the opposite poles between just laws and unjust laws in human rights, we might want to look back in the history of the segregation between whites and blacks 50 years ago. At that time, there were many laws that advanced whites greater than black people such as blacks were refused to be served in white restaurants, or blacks had to give their seats to whites on the bus or had to sit in the back of the bus. Even though the era of black slavery had been collapsed, African American had still been discriminately treated. Here, we meet many unjust laws that obstructed African American from reaching to their complete human rights. In “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” Martin Luther King Jr., a famous leader who was highly dedicated to the movements of Civil Rights to reach the equality between whites and blacks, firmly emphasized, “A just law is a man code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just; any law that degrades human personality is unjust.
To put it in the terms of Saint Thomas Aguinas, an unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal and natural law.” Surely, a just law should fulfill human rights and make them feel fully protective and proud of who and what they are. When it happens that a law affects differently from one person to another, or when you feel that your certain rights being robbed or used against your belief, or your conscience, it is an unjust law which is morally wrong. According to the constitution, all men are created equal, and they should have the same rights. Therefore, people should stand up and do something to change unjust laws. It is our moral responsibility to amend injustice even though we all acknowledge that changing a law is not such an easy thing; it costs tons of times and millions of dollars and many others consequences. Otherwise, we are going to lose our freedom and our standard justice is going to be distorted.
In the arena of commercial business does injustice exists; and it has extensively and stiflingly influenced to individuals’ life. The difference between socialism and capitalism will clarify how justice and injustice stand in a system of commercials. Socialism which is a system that every individual has been equally distributed wealth and income, which is why there is no huge distance between rich and poor. Nonetheless, in capitalism countries, such as U.S., the distance between rich and poor can not measure; there are people that are extremely affluent while a large number of citizens that are in the bottom of poverty. We can not deny the truth that it might be the success of hard and genius entrepreneurs, but some people have taken for granted from loopholes in the system of laws to stretch their wealth by exploiting the rights of employees and performed underhanded acts. For example, the event of bankruptcy of ENRON, a corporate company that once was the strongest electricity and natural gas trader and marketer in this nation, is good substantiation. Chief Executives of ENRON gave false profit of its company by manipulating fake accounting to keep the stock price and credit rating. When it turned out as a trap, it led to catastrophic consequences such as million investors lost all their money, the economics of the U.S. was badly affected, and subsequently, the system of legislation also needed to be amended.
Besides, politics is a battle where injustice is often present, especially politics of military. The government somehow and sometimes uses laws as a weapon to control it citizens or to force people who reside in its territory to follow its rules. We all concede that United States of America is a nation that gets a strong tradition of freedom; nevertheless, injustice still sometimes takes place. We can say that just laws are used to punish whom intentionally injuries or damages other’s properties, such as murders and theft, while unjust laws oppress people from disobeying the government. If we have the rich vs. the poor in the civilian world, we also get the admirals and generals vs. the enlisted or junior officers in the military. The truth is that there are a huge numbers of people put after the bars of Ft. Leavenworth, a federal detention facility or actually a politic prison, but only and only one general, David Hale, was court-martialed in 1952 during our 225-year history, and he didn’t go to jail eventually. Is this big distinction is good evidence about how injustice has been placed in the military? U.S. military has made up its image to allow American people to believe in its justice but all people see is lies.
In conclusion, a society indeed needs to have laws to maintain its system, but it does not mean that there is any place for injustice. Hence, should people be obedient to unjust laws? Should people keep silent and let unjust laws abuse their human rights permanently? Each person owes himself a conscience. Of course, there are some that accept an authority figure or law regardless their personal feelings. However, whether a person decides to obey a law or whether he values it as just or unjust relies on his individual personality. No one can tell or force him to decide it, only he is going to decide it. Dr. King once stated that” I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and willingly accepts the penalty by staying in jail to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the very highest respect for the law.” Violating against an unjust law is not illegal; it is how you contribute to preserve your rights, other’s individual rights and justice of this society. We got to do what should be done for our holy justice.